Zemura braces for EPL debut

05 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Zemura braces for EPL debut LIVING A DREAM . . . Warriors’ star defender Jordan Zemura (left) is set to make his English Premier League football debut tomorrow when his club AFC Bournemouth host Marvelous Nakamba’s Aston Villa at home at the Vitality Stadium.

The Herald

Tadious Manyepo-Sports Reporter

MAYBE the gods have specifically designed August 6 for Warriors star Jordan Zemura.

He opened a new chapter in his football career on this day last year and he will open another one on the same day this year.

The AFC Bournemouth defender was handed his full professional debut in the English Championship against West Bromwich Albion at the Vitality Stadium not by design.

He had to be picked because Jack Stacey had failed to recover from a knock in time for this English Championship opener against the Cherries’ promotion rivals.

But, in a way he merited a place having impressed in the EFL Cup match against MK Dons the weekend before.

With Stacey out, manager Scott Parker had no problem thrusting in the 22-year-old player whom he rated so highly despite him being still a greenhorn.

“An attacking full-back and has impressed me in that sense. He is still young in his age and inexperience.

“But I suspect he is going to get game-time this year and hopefully he can grab that with both hands and take that next leap, which is from a player that is developing or a player that’s getting bits of games, to one which can really grasp that.

“Hopefully he can do that,” Parker said after naming Zemura in his starting line-up on the day.

The Zimbabwean responded with a collected show, underlined with impressive all-round statistics in a match he engineered the second goal for a 2-2 tie.

Earning the trust of his manager, Zemura never looked back from that game and ensured the 2021-2022 season would be his breakthrough term playing 33 games to help the Cherries secure promotion back into the English Premier League as runners-up to Fulham.

And the Warriors utility could be thrown into the fray tomorrow August 6 for his English Premier League debut, at the Vitality Stadium when AFC Bournemouth entertain Aston Villa in their first top-flight match in three years.

This contest could as well turn out to be a showdown between Zimbabweans if another Warriors player, Marvelous Nakamba, gets the nod to play a part tomorrow.

Bournemouth were relegated from the English Premier League at the end of the 2019/2020 season and failed to make an instant rebound in the 2020/2021 season.

However, they made sure they returned to the English Premier League on an automatic ticket despite falling short of being champions in a tight race won by Parker’s former club Fulham during the 2021/2022 season.

But, it is Zemura who will probably be the centre of interest given his sudden rise to prominence.

The Zimbabwean, who was employed as a mere glass-cutter a few years ago before getting a modest contract which he begrudgingly accepted at Bournemouth, will enter the terrain with some added pressure.

The way he grabbed the opportunity to play regularly in the English Championship, in a campaign the Cherries never lost a match Zemura started, has attracted attention for the lad.

But, for him, it is yet another campaign and a dream come true.

“Yeah, for me, it’s a dream come true. It’s not about having or feeling some pressure. I think we have prepared well for the English Premier League season and here is an opportunity to play the games,” said Zemura.

“Personally, I am very excited and happy that our team will be playing in the English Premier League this season. For me, that’s a massive feeling.

“Everyone is excited and we are ready to go out there, play to the maximum of our abilities and try to get the results.

“I am happy to be hoisting the Zimbabwean flag in one of the best leagues in the world. I should say the objective remains the same, to play my normal game, help the team achieve their targets and I will be happy if we can do that.

“There is certain competition in this league but the idea is to be competitive as well. We are ready for the challenge and hopefully things will work out. We will put on the work, try to play to the maximum and that way, we will succeed but otherwise I should say, I am very impressed and excited to have that possibility of playing in the English Premier League.”

Zemura, though remains a transfer target for London side West Ham although he is not ready to talk about it.

If the interest persists, Zemura, whose market value has appreciated over the past few months, could see himself getting a new improved contract a bit faster.

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